U.S. consumer confidence is finally back at pre-recession levels, but unseasonably warm weather is still impacting retail sales. According to Cowen and Company, specialty store traffic fell 5.1% year-over-year in September. This unpredictable environment kept investors on tenterhooks and, as such, the Dow Jones U.S. Apparel Retailers Total Stock Market Index declined by 2.75% or 168.12 points last month.
Comparable store sales declined 4 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 27 at Stein Mart (SMRT) and CEO Dawn Robertson resigned, which didn’t help the specialty retailer’s stock price. Shares plunged 21.02% in September, ending the month at $6.35.
September was a rough month for Sears Holdings (SHLD). First, Moody’s said the retailer would need to borrow more money or continuing selling off its real estate in order to stay in business. Then, Fitch Ratings predicted it would file for Chapter 11 within a year to 24 months. Its stock plunged 16.78% last month to end up at $11.46 and its share price is down 44.7% year-to-date.
Despite posting an 8 percent increase in revenues to $9.1 billion in its first quarter ended Aug. 31, Nike (NKE) is losing share in the athletic apparel and footwear market to rivals Under Armour and Adidas. Inventory levels are up 11 percent and investors are worried: its share price dropped 8.66% in September to end the month at $52.66.
Under Armour (UA) CEO Kevin Plank thinks the company’s new Under Armour Sportswear line could be worth $15 billion, but not everybody appears to agree: Matthew Mirchin, the brand’s North American president, recently offloaded thousands of shares. The company’s stock ended September at $38.69, after declining 2.4%.
Teen retailer Tilly’s (TLYS) gained 7.44% last month to end September at $9.39 per share. This followed a 53.6% increase in its share price in August.
Department store chain Stage Stores (SSI) saw its stock rise 4.28% to close September at $5.60.
Shares at off-price retailer Ross Stores (ROST) recorded a 3.31% increase in price in September, closing the month at $64.30.
Nordstrom shares (JWN) inched up 2.81% to close September at $51.87. The Seattle-based retailer recently opened its fourth Canadian location, as it continues to slowly expand its footprint north of the border. It first entered the region in 2013.